Energy Blast – June 30, 2011

Russia’s hardline tactics in cash-strapped Belarus have worked: following yesterday’s power cut, Belarus has paid back the millions of dollars it owes to Russia in overdue electricity bills. The head of Eni says that Europe could find itself in trouble if Russia raises gas supply volumes to Asian countries, but Gazprom insists that the expanding volumes of gas demanded by its Asian customers will not affect its European deliveries.  Indeed, the company is planning to boost its European exports this year, and is looking to set a new high in export revenues.  Russia’s increased oil deliveries to Asia are causing problems for Saudi Arabia: ‘To get an edge in the competition with Russia and ship more barrels into Asia, the Saudis will have to take the next painful step in reducing global oil prices − slashing their own.‘  Oil companies are anticipating getting permits to begin drilling in the Gulf of Mexico again this year.  Reuters suggests that Lithuania’s move to separate its gas transportation and supply assets could cause a row with its sole supplier, Gazprom, as such a move would force the company to give up pipeline ownership. India’s Petronet is in talks with U.S. liquefied natural gas supplier Cheniere Energy, as the country seeks to start major exports ‘for the first time in over forty years‘.  Russia’s RTS stock-index futures have gained thanks to oil’s current two-day rally.